Encyclopedia Titanica

Marius Petersen

Mr Marius Petersen (or Pedersen), was born 19 July 1887 1 at Tåglund, Nysted, Maribo County, Denmark to Karen Sophie (nee Petersen; she may have been born 10 February 1863 in Birket, Toreby, Maribo) Petersen, who was an unmarried mother.2 He was christened 19 February 1888 in the Church of Denmark tradition in Maribo. His godparents were farmer Rasmus Hansen and his wife, who lived at Tåglund.

His childhood seems to have been slightly troubled, with him living in different places in different families over the years. In 1890 he was a foster son in the family of Rasmus and Birthe Clausen who lived in Saksköbing, Musse, Maribo. In 1901 he lived in Vester Ulslev, Musse, Maribo, as a foster son in the family of Rasmus, a farmer b. 31 December 1846, and Karen (née Jörgensen; b. 16 July 1847) Nielsen.

By 1906 he was a milk driver living in Birket, Toreby, Maribo, Denmark, and in 1911 he was a dairy worker (mejerist) living in Femö, Fuglse, Maribo.

Petersen seems to have emigrated to England later in 1911 or possibly in early 1912. The White Star Line listed his address as 73, West End Road, Southall, Middlesex, and the passenger list stated he was a dairy worker from Denmark aged 24.

Petersen boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third-class passenger, although some sources suggest he did not sail at all since he sought to have his ticket refunded or rescheduled.

Southall Man's Fortunate Decision

An extremely fortunate eleventh-hour decision prevented a Southall man from being involved in the terrible calamity that on Sunday night befell the "Titanic." Mr. Marius Petersen left his many friends in Southall with the intention of journeying to America on the ill-fated liner, on which be had already booked his passage. On learning the awful news of the disaster, and seeing Mr. Petersen's name included in the list of third-class passengers published on Wednesday, his Southall friends were quite prepared for the worst. They were overjoyed, however, when later on in the day they received a letter from him, dated from a port in Holland, in which he stated that he had altered his mind and was not going to America for a month or two, and that he intended to endeavour to get the White Star Company to vary the date of his ticket.  - West Middlesex Gazette,  19 April 1912

As far as can be ascertained Petersen did travel and died in the sinking3, his body was never found.



  1. The date. is also noted as 23 July 1887.
  2. His mother may have been the Karen Sophie Petersen who married Vilhelm Martin Frederiksen 3 November 1889 in Maribo. 
  3. In a book about the Danish passengers on the ship, it is suggested he instead went back to Denmark, spent a few weeks there, and then went to the USA on the DFDS liner United States. He arrived on 15 May and went to Minnesota, but this gentleman was a carpenter and was born 5 April 1890 at Vrads, Jutland, Denmark. (son of Peter Rasmussen, b. 1 August 1829, and Ane Margrethe Gregerson, b. 29 September 1837) and almost certainly not the Titanic passenger, who was a dairy worker. 

References and Sources

Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988, 1996, 1999) Titanic. Prisma, Stockholm. ISBN 91 518 3644 0
West Middlesex Gazette,  19 April 1912
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Comment and discuss

  1. Karen Wilson

    Karen Wilson

    I am very anxious to find the Titanic connection for my family. My father was born on Dec 18th 1912 and my grandmother was given money from the relief fund which she used when she married my grandfather in 1913. His name was Petersen and a possible link could be Marius Petersen--a third class passenger who may have been his brother. The only other link could be Samuel Williams (fireman) who lived near my grandmother and, according to your biography, had an illegitimate son also called Samuel. We have been trying to solve this mystery for years and my mum who is 90 is the only link who... Read full post

  2. Deleted member 173198

    Deleted member 173198

    Hello Karen, A very interesting story and thank you for dropping by. I'll leave this one for someone else, who like me, resides around the Southampton area. I know he'll be more than happy to help you out and possibly help you to make contact with another side to your family. Over to you Brian T. Andrew Williams Hampshire.

  3. Arne Mjåland

    It is quit possible that he was not on the Titanic. He got refunded 90 % of what he paid for the ticket. See Debbie Beaves book "Who sailed on Titanic". 2 May 1912 the ship "United States" left Copenhagen for New York. Onboard was a passenger named Marius Petersen 24 years old and farmworker, the same age and profession as Marius on the Titanic. This Petersen was born in Ullerslev, Fyn, Denmark. He lived with his father Hans Petersen in Kaerby at Kertminde. There has been found a Marius Petersen on Ancestry.com in Minnesota cencus 1920 where he lived with his brother and sister.

  4. Arne Mjåland

    The Danish family researcher Ruben Hojmark, want to make a case about this mysterious Danish man. To get started he wants;complete name, date of birth and where, name of parents. When he went to America, day of departure and arrival. Where did he travel in U.S.A,? Did he live at relatives? Did he get married, with whom and when? Children? When died he?

  5. Peter Kyhl

    Hi Everything about Marius Petersen from his birth 1887 to the census 1911 is completly wrong. This Marius Petersen never left Denmark. I have found him in census' 1911, 1916, 1921, 1925 and 1930. He is well and living in Denmark.

  6. Arun Vajpey

    Not necessarily. The name Marius Petersen appears to be quite common in Denmark, and the one you found in all those census might be a different person from the one who did/didn't sail on the Titanic. The few details available here on ET and in various genealogical sites do tally to a... Read full post

  7. Peter Kyhl

    Marius Petersen born 19. july in Nysted never left Denmark. He is Marius Petersen born 19. july in Taagense, Nysted in the censuses'. I am Danish and a skilled genealogist and can read all the records. No doubt about it. You can see it in this census from 1930, where he lives in Copenhagen. His mother was unmarried but she was a servant at the farm of Hans Petersens. We also get the information that she was in Nysted 10 month before the birth (at his baptism record). I would really like to see the source for the information on ET.

  8. Arun Vajpey

    Accepted. Then who is the (other?) Marius Petersen who worked briefly in Denmark as a milk delivery man, emigrated to England in 1911 and was living and working in Southall, London? There is quite a bit of history on ET including names of his guardians, foster parents etc. Also that article in the West Middlesex Gazette about his last minute cancellation of his Titanic ticket and... Read full post

  9. Arun Vajpey

    Above is a copy of the actual excerpt that appeared in the April 19th 1912 edition of the West Middlesex Gazette. That paper no longer exists but I have e-mailed the British Newspaper Archives for information about the source.

  10. Arun Vajpey

    I believe I have found the solution to the mysterious Marius Petersen story. As I suspected, the bios of two completely different men with the same name appears to have been somehow gotten mixed up. Peter Kyhl is absolutely right in that the Marius Petersen born in Nysted, Denmark on 19th July 1887 to an unwed mother named Karen Sophie Petersen (the surname might have been tagged on later) probably never left Denmark and had nothing to do with the Titanic. I do not know what his profession was but he was not a dairy worker and certainly did not live and work in Southall at any time. So, that... Read full post

  11. Peter Kyhl

    I have found Marius Petersen from Taagense in Nysted in the census of 1911. He is actually a dairy worker in 1911. He is a dairy worker on a small island called Femø just north of hus birth island of Lolland. In the census' from 1916-1930 he is a male nurse on hospitals or mental hospitals. If he is the one going to UK in 1911. He was never on Titanic, since he is well and alive after. I have been looking for Marius Petersen (the name could also be Pedersen) in Stubbekøbing born around 1888 (No city is called Stuebelkobing). No boy is born in 1887-1888-1889 by the name Marius... Read full post

  12. Peter Kyhl

    Nothing on the Familysearch three seems to be right. No Robert Petersen was born in 1869 in Stubbekøbing and no Peter Rasmussen was buried 1915 in Stubbekøbing. Maybe the family lived near Stubbekøbing and not in the town. Maybe they mix him up with the other Marius Petersen because he was from the same area of Denmark. The name Bockleman is not Danish and I can't find anyone with the name in Denmark.

  13. Peter Kyhl

    The reasons why it is believed Marius Petersen/Pedersen never boarded are (according to the book "De Dansk Fortællinger, the Danish tales" by Jesper Hjermind and Mett McCall) on the boardinglist with people boarding in Southampton Marius has a dot beside his name as the only one. The rest have like a check sign. He was also repaid 80 % of the tickets prize together with Frederick Miles and William Gillespie. It is also not certain if they was onboard. Together with the note in the newspaper about his survival and the fact thet no family ever sued for money after Marius Petersen. It seems... Read full post

  14. Arun Vajpey

    The reasons why it is believed Marius Petersen/Pedersen never boarded are (according to the book "De... Read full post

  15. Peter Kyhl

    Hi Arun. I agree this could be the right man but I need some hard evidence that Marius Petersen from Nysted left the country. When the archives opens again I will go to the National Archive and see what I can find. The name Pedersen/Petersen is so common in Denmark as Smith or Jones in USA. Often people from Denmark had more names like Marius Andreas Ferdinand Petersen but they only appear on lists as Marius Petersen. Many left out the other names when they went away or even changed names to more English names. I don't know when Marius Petersen died but I haven't been able to find him in... Read full post

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Marius Petersen
Age: 24 years 8 months and 27 days (Male)
Nationality: Danish
Religion: Lutheran
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Dairy Worker
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 342441, £8 1s
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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